Dell's latest budget offering, the Inspiron 530 (9 direct), is a competent system for everyday home use (e-mailing, DVD burning, office productivity), and it even handles more-processor-intensive tasks, like editing photos in Photoshop, with ease.Unfortunately, its very satisfactory performance doesn't make up for its shortcomings, and it's priced at least more than many of its peers.
(You can always ditch the modem and replace it with a Wi-Fi card or an additional USB card.) Like the Lenovo Idea Centre K210, the Inspiron 530 is virtually bloatware-free.
No Napster trials or Net Zero offerings here; the clean configuration is a joy, saving you the headache of uninstalling unwanted programs.
(Solitaire and Minesweeper addicts are covered.) It can handle multimedia tasks, as seen on the Windows Media Encoder (WME) test, which it completed in 1 minute 11 seconds, and the Adobe Photoshop CS3 test, which it finished in a brisk 34 seconds.
The Dell Inspiron 530 is certainly a capable value system, with the benchmark scores to back it up, but its lower storage capacity and lack of Media Center functionality hurt its overall rating.
Another mismatch, if you will, is the inclusion of Windows Vista Home Basic, which lacks Media Center functionality.
Vista Home Premium Edition can be found on peer systems from e Machines, HP Compaq, and Lenovo, and although that would have raised the price by about , including it would have been smart.If you plan on upgrading, the Inspiron 530 has plenty of space inside for extras like a secondary hard drive.(The case uses a standard side panel with screws, so it isn't as easy to get into as systems like the Lenovo Idea Centre K210.) There's also an available 5.25-inch bay for a second optical drive, and two open SATA ports for expansion.The Inspiron 530's 2GB of system RAM are a necessity for Windows Vista (even with Vista Basicespecially while multitasking), while its integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics are suitable for casual game play.The system's 250GB SATA hard drive isn't small by any means, but comparable systems from e Machines, HP, and Lenovo, all offer 320GB drives to store more data.For security, a measly 30-day trial of Mc Afee is optional, but that's all you get.